FanFic - Michael/Maria
"De Veritas"
Part 3
by Stephanie A
Disclaimer: The characters and universe herein don't belong to me. No infringement intended.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: R
He sat alone in his room, in the quickly fading light that fell lower and lower with the passing seconds, minutes, hours. Eventually, he got up off his rumpled bed, dreamlike, and rummaged through the medicine chest for an almost-used up tube of Neosporin to rub over the nail scratches that ran up and down his back. His kind healed quickly. Externally.

He sat back down, with his shirt off, and closed his eyes. It had been almost five hours, and he had mentally struggled with himself not to let her face fill the canvas of his mind, flung across the bright red and gold and blue she had finger-painted there. Unable to fight it anymore, he saw her. He felt her. He could hear her pulse racing to the beating of his own heart, which he didn't have the power to slow. Imagine. Being betrayed by the rhythm of your own heart. It was so maudlin, so pathetic, that he groaned with the very sickly sweetness of it.

*That* his mind told him righteously. *Is exactly what you get for thinking of her.*

He told his mind to go fuck itself.

Then he thought about her eyes. Big, and bubbly, and hurt. Because of him. He knew what they looked like, he saw them in his waking dreams. If Michael had a poet laureate's heart or mouth, he might call them luminescent. All he had, though, was a heart that loved her without knowing how or why, and the lips that kissed her until she was beestung and bruised. He didn't know why that seemed to be enough for her. What he was sure of was that if he forgot to inhale, and let himself lean back, he could still taste her.

He briefly considered that he might have done better by her if he had just left her alone, and let his own brusque silence be the end of things. Selfishly, he reminded himself that then, not only would she have been left alone, but he would have, too. As much as he hated that thought, he knew it was true. Because, in all harsh reality, what was his choice? He could have done the right thing by doing nothing, knowing that he was colder and less penetrable than ice, or done what he did, and he left with a cold bed, a cold body, and an aching that couldn't be ignored or made sarcastic.

If Michael Guerin could ever be made to cry, then would have been the time.


She sat on her bed, crying.

The night was mercilessly still, unyieldingly silent to her pleas for help. Of course, she reminded herself, after that afternoon, what more could she expect from Heaven? All her life, she had wished on a star, to find her one true love. Typical little-girl-with-a-princess-wish fare. Then what happened? Fate plops an *alien* on her doorstep (Or in her car? Was that where it all started?), and expects her to love him, even though he doesn't love her back.

*That's what you get for listening to guys* she thought viciously. *They're only after one thing.*

But was that really true? Yes, he had had sex with her. Had he *ever* been nice to her, though, ever indicative that he ever cared?

At least stupid girls get told that they're loved up until the point where the guys screw them and leaves them.

He had never made any promises. He never offered her sweetness, or companionship, or a million other pillow-made vows, of love, loyalty, or at least:
"Hey, thanks for a good time."

She felt so hurt that she wanted to curl up in a fetal position and just sob until she drowned in her own tears. It wasn't just that he was her first time, and it wasn't that he had betrayed her trust. He had never given her reason to trust him, or indication that he wanted it. Hadn't he told it to her before? He didn't want her, he just liked making out with her.

"Guess I've just been moved up a level" she muttered savagely.

Lonely. And scared, too. She ached for him like a dying person in the desert wants water, like one drowning wishes for support. She felt stupid, for letting him into her heart when he really couldn't care less about being there.

It was so cold, even though the night was faintly warm. The ghostly vestiges of Indian summer pandered in whispers to the approaching winter, season of simultaneous death and life.

She wished she had someone to talk to. Liz wouldn't even vaguely understand.

Maria had nothing else to do. So she lay back and tried to sleep without dreaming, knowing that all she'd see would be his cold, dead eyes.


One day earlier...


"Absolutely not" he said, coolly. "Not even a consideration."

Maria faced him, arms akimbo. Well, Mr. Bad-Ass Alien man wanted to be adamant? She could do that, too. Hadn't she girded up any spare scraping of courage she'd collected since grade three just to knock on his door? She'd come too far to back down, now. It had been almost twenty-four full hours, and there wasn't much time left to waste.

"You can't stop me" she informed him. "I just thought I'd tell you."

He squinted at her.

"If I wanted to" he told her, slowly, and deliberately, "I could unravel that sweater you're wearing, and use the yarn to tie you to that chair you're standing by. All without moving." Maria scoffed tentatively.

"Hah. You said yourself that you can't do that kind of stuff."

"Dare me to try it" he said, a demonic glint in his eye. "I can't imagine what would happen when I inevitably screwed up."

She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, taking a step back.

"We have to do something" she insisted. "Otherwise..."

"Otherwise our secret is out" he finished faintly.

"Yeah." She nodded grimly. "We could..."

His face contorted.

"There is no *we* in this, Maria" he said, more than a bit cold. "There's nothing you can do here."

She would kill him. Painfully.

"Don't give me that" she threatened.

"Give you what?" he challenged.

"You know" she said. "That snide, condescending... thing."

He laughed dryly.

"Well," he said, turning. "When you figure out exactly what that *thing* is, hunt me down. I'm going to actually do something about this."

He was about to leave her standing in what accounted for the foyer of the trailer he called home. She grabbed his arm.

"Don't do anything stupid" she warned him. "You'll just get yourself hurt."

He looked at her like she was crazy.

"Didn't you get the call?" he asked incredulously.

She was confused.

"That's what I do best" he muttered, as he shrugged her off. "Stupid things. So what if I get hurt? You'll just have something to say 'I told you so' about."

Humiliated, he watched him slink away.

*There's only one thing to do* the better part of her thought, resolutely. *You have to beat him there."

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